Source from: New Straits Times, Original Article
GEORGE TOWN: A private landowner is facing legal action for illegally clearing a 16 hectare land in Bukit Relau here without approval from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
MBPP Engineering Department director A. Rajendran said the landowner was found carrying out earthworks at Lot 274, 275, 276 and 6621 in Mukim 13, a hilly terrain, between Jalan Bukit Gambir and Jalan Paya Terubong, since the beginning of this year.
He said MBPP had completed the investigation paper and legal action would be taken against the landowner.
Rajendran said until now, MBPP had yet to consider the planning permission by the consulting company appointed by the landowner.
“However, the landowner had gone ahead to build a cement road without approval – that is without producing a mitigation plan and a planning permission – although it is a private land.
“Earthworks were carried out on a slope measuring 200 to 350m for a fruit farm, while some patches were laid bare,” he told the press at Bukit Relau here this morning, where he took a team of media to the site to see the situation.
Rajendran said, prior to this, the MBPP had issued three stop work orders against the landowner.
“Notices requiring earthworks to be stopped under Section 70A of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 were issued on March 5, July 14 and July 15 respectively.
“During monitoring by a team, comprising MBPP officials and police, on April 15, eight workers were also arrested to assist in probe.
“Further monitoring since Aug 24 until now showed no activities have been carried out, besides no machineries ont he site,” he added.
Rajendran said the landowner had previously been slapped with a RM10,000 for carrying out illegal earthworks on a nearby piece of land.
“Legal action was taken in 2015 against the same landowner, also for carrying out earthworks without approval from the local authority, at a nearby site.
“In this latest case, the court had yet to decide on the action against the landowner. If convicted, he can be fined RM50,000 or five years’ jail or both, upon conviction,” he added.
Checks on the MBPP online One Stop Centre showed the landowner submitted an application for planning approval to conduct earthworks to plant durian trees on four plots of hill lands on Sept 1.